Salah Abdel-Maksoud, Egypt’s Information Minister sworn-in last Thursday, announced that he will endeavor to transform Egyptian media from a State-controlled tool into a homeland information tool, and from a regime apparatus into an information powerhouse for the people with their concerns, issues, hopes and aspirations.
During a meeting with the heads of a number of main departments of the Egyptian state radio and television corporation at the famous Maspero building, the new information minister – as someone affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood – was asked about fears of "Islamizing" Egyptian media.
In response, the minister said, "I am proud to belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. This will make me honest and fair with everyone, seeking for this establishment to be a conduit of the full political and intellectual spectrum in Egypt.
"No-one should be making judgments about my management style already. However, my four consecutive terms in the journalists’ union over the past 16 years should be sufficient evidence of the kind of person I am."
The Minister further noted that he has no intention to impose a specific policy; but to enforce the law, which defines the functions of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, in order to provide quality information service to the Egyptian people, contributing to their intellectual development and enlightenment, and safeguarding national unity.
"It is not my objective at the Ministry of Information to transform Egyptian television into a mouthpiece of government or other executive institute propaganda. However, together we will aim to fulfill our role, as mass media, to participate, control, contribute and follow-up, all in the service of public interest."
The Information Minister strongly denied any quarrel with anyone, whether within or outside the Ministry and the Radio and Television Union.
He further stressed that he did not come to settle accounts, adding: "I will begin by extending my hand for all. Those who will cooperate with me, I will reciprocate with sincere cooperation and support.
"I have no political quarrel with anyone. I will work to make this establishment expressive of all the intellectual, political and social spectra in the Egyptian arena. The media will endeavor to reflect all classes of people in all honesty, professionalism and objectivity."